By Tim Kolacz
Over the past several years we have seen many corporations go through several trials and tribulations regarding how sensitive their products, mascots, or related marketing is to a multitude of different races and backgrounds. In the past couple of years we have seen The Washington Redskins football team have the Intellectual Property for their logo stripped from them due to a perceived insensitive nature of their name to the native people of the land we now call the USA. We have also seen several other groups of people wanting to bring change to corporations so that their specific group can claim a victory for the small guy that is being harmed in some way, be damned the cost to the big evil corporate giant.
What people fail to realize is that the very corporations that they are seeking to take down, are also providing jobs to the surrounding areas, driving the economy in that area, and those trade names and corporations are deeply rooted in these areas. Driving out the jobs or lowering the revenues that these corporations rely on, could lower the average wage for these workers and hence lower the ability for the local economy to grow. So what can be done?
Making sure that you are prepared for when a situation like this occurs is the first step. Having a plan in place to respond to an act of a certain group against your company is critical. Emergency Response plans are critical to a company as they allow for the company, and every employee, to know what to do and who to call when a situation arises. Having a Crisis Response PR team in place to help stem the tide of bad press begins the process of understanding the situation, getting the information that your company is aware of the situation and is working with the proper people to remedy the situation immediately.
Once you have controlled the media, it is then in your best interest to get the media out of your front yard. Saying the same thing over and over, having each employee direct all questions back to the PR team who will say the same thing, will get you off the front page; back to page 6 and then out of the paper completely.
By planning to do these things, you can circumvent what Washington had happen and look to Chief Wahoo. (Actually Brave Wahoo, but now we’re splitting feathers) The Cleveland Indians have been working with Chief Wahoo and his impending demise for the past 20+ years. This past week, Chief Wahoo was officially given his walking papers and will not be part of the merchandising efforts of the Indians after the end of the 2018 baseball season. This gives Cleveland an entire year to show that they are moving away from what some people may think is offensive. A whole year; talk about good planning. I am not a baseball fan. I don’t much care for it in general. I enjoy going to the ballpark with friends and enjoying a dog and a refreshment. I’m not sure who wins most of the time.
My Chief Wahoo shirt will be here on Monday. There’s plenty of them in stock. Well planned.
Tim Kolacz encourages you to be brave and plan for the future; both seen and unforeseen. Tim.firstname.lastname@example.org